50 years later the concert for Bangladesh will take place again (but in digital form)
It was the first large format of its kind and served as a model for charity events such as the iconic Live Aid.
Eric Clapton and George Harrison in 1971.
Fifty years after the first major music event in solidarity in the world, the concert for Bangladesh will take place again this Sunday, August 1st, with several live and digital performances.
On August 1, 1971, some of the world’s leading figures in the music scene (such as George Harrison and Bob Dylan) gathered in Madison Square Garden in New York, USA, to take part in the first major pasta solidarity event.
It was organized by the Beatles guitarist George Harrison with the Indian musician Ravi Shankar to start an international appeal for aid to Bangladesh, which had just declared its independence from Pakistan. It was hit hard by the civil war, but also by several meteorological disasters.
Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr and Leon Russell were some of the stars who acted. Around 40,000 people watched the show live and collected around 202,000 euros. The Bangladesh concert became the model for charity events such as the legendary Live Aid that took place in 1985.
Half a century later, the format returns this Sunday with the aim of reviewing the story of solidarity behind the first edition. The funds raised will go to participating musicians and a charity in Bangladesh.
It blends real and digital elements with live and video performances by 13 musicians from Bangladesh and South Asia with styles ranging from hip-hop to experimental electronic music.
The new concert for Bangladesh can be seen on Pioneer Works’ digital platform, but also features live performances at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, UK.